The Impact of Driving Knowledge on Motor Vehicle Fatalities

Walter O. Simmons, Andrew M. Welki, Thomas J. Zlatoper


This paper analyzes the influence of driving knowledge on highway safety by estimating regression models on U.S. state-level data over six years (2005 through 2010). The models incorporate a representative set of motor vehicle fatality determinants. Driving knowledge—as measured by performance on the GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test—has a statistically significant life-saving effect. Negatively related to the motor vehicle death rate and statistically significant are: real per capita income, precipitation, seat belt use, and a linear trend. Statistically significant positive associations with the rate are found for: the ratio of rural to urban driving, temperature, the percentage of young drivers, the percentage of old drivers, and alcohol consumption.

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